Enviro News - April 2012
Minute Air Samplers to Collect Atmospheric Gases
Posted by Enviro News' Technology Reporter on 12/04/2012 - 12:50:00
US scientists have developed minute air samplers designed to perform low-cost, easily-obtainable atmospheric gas sample collection operations.
Based at Sandia National Laboratories, they've progressed what researcher Ron Manginell terms ‘an inexpensive tool for collecting pristine vapour samples in the field'.
Roughly equivalent in size to human earplugs, the air samplers feature an alumina alloy-based chamber and, placed on top, a robust micro-valve. When electricity is supplied to this valve, it opens and takes in air for a few seconds before sealing up again. That valve opening is truly tiny and about as wide as three strands of hair and the design's overall reduced size gives it extreme versatility, according to SNL.
Minute Air Samplers
The minute air samplers' straightforward, lightweight and low-cost attributes make them suitable for a wide array of locations unsuitable for older, larger technologies of this kind, they say. This means, in the future, they might be carried by UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or weather balloons, or perhaps lowered into the ground, used on the battlefield or deployed in counter-terrorism operations.
A study on Sandia's earplug-sized air samplers - titled ‘A Materials Investigation of a Phase-Change Micro-Valve for Greenhouse Gas Collection and Other Potential Applications' - was recently published by the Review of Scientific Instruments journal.
Atmospheric Gas Collection
There's simply a host of potential applications but it's planned, initially, for the air samplers to carry out greenhouse gas emissions-based research.
This will see them launched skywards to perform atmospheric gas collection duties, on missions which will then be used to support air pollution data recently accumulated by a fleet of NASA satellites.
"This is a little different from what we've done in the past", Manginell explained in a Sandia press release issued on 10 April 2012. He continued: "The widespread collection of greenhouse gases has to be extremely cheap. So we collected people who have done soldering, brazing and thick-film metallization on ceramics that's scalable to high-volume production. Some did analytical chemistry to figure out if we were contaminating the sample. Others found the perfect solder mix."
Image copyright Randy Montoya - courtesy Sandia National Laboratories
Companies supplying Air Gas and Particle Monitoring
Recently Added News
The reasons why the Harlequin Ladybird has been so successful in Europe is revealed in a new study published online by the journal Science.
Scientists publish new estimations of up to 59cm sea level rise by the end of the century, with the role of glacier and ice-sheet melts debated.
A newly-published study has revealed that conserving Amazonian rainforests will boost the electricity levels generated by hydropower facilities.
A new report shows how over a third of animals and fifty percent of all plants habitats are threatened due to climate change.